April Sales Steady, High End Sales Down in April - 5/3/2024

April Sales Steady, High End Sales Down in April - 5/3/2024
Our April sales are just about the same as last year, which is remarkable given that our inventory is down 13% to a new record weekly low. We had 40 sales in April, which is almost the same as last year. At the same time, our inventory shrank from 167 listings in last year’s spring market to only 146 single family home listings this year. It’s hard to sell what you don’t have.
Most of our market continues to be combat buying with our median days on market down to only 29 DOM, which means that half of inventory is going to a binding contract in less than a month. This compares to a month and a half last year and 5 months on the market in 2019. If you want to buy in Greenwich, you need to be prepared to move quickly or be ready to some work. 
Another sign of a seller’s market is that our sales price to original list price was at 98% last year and is now up to 100% of the list price this year. Prices are also up. Our median sales price this year is $2.90 million, which is up  16% from last April’s median price of $2.5 million. We are up 55% from April 2019’s pre-Covid median price of $1.87 million. As I explained, a couple of weeks ago this doesn’t mean that your house is up 55% from 2019 in most cases. 
Much of the increase in our median sales price is because our sales this year under $2 million are down. At the same time our sales from $2 million to $6.5 million are up from last year. The result is that both the average sales price, now at $3.5 million, and our median sales price are up from last year. 
So how much has your house and your neighborhood appreciated? The short answer is that every house is different and you should check with your agent. However, if you just want a number, the number least affected by the change in the mix of what is selling is the ratio of the sales price to the Tax Assessor’s assessment. When you compare the April 2024 ratio to the April 2023 ratio you get an increase of 11.7%, still quite a jump in one year (and also likely not how much your house has increased in value). 
As I said, sales from $2 million to $6.5 million are up this year, which is remarkable, because our inventory from $2 million to $5 million is where our inventory numbers have dropped the most. Our Greenwich Streets team here at Compass has a bunch of buyers actively looking in this price range. Below $5 million we have a super-seller’s market with less than 3 months of supply.  If you are thinking about selling your property this an excellent time to do so. Just call us at 203-817-2871 or email me at [email protected].
It’s only above $5 million that you see a more balanced market and only above $10 million that you could argue that there is a buyer’s market. Our highest priced sale this month was 22 Dairy Road, which sold for $16.25 million after 189 days on market. It was only our third sale over $10 million this year. The future of our ultra-high-end is looking uncertain with inventory up from last year and contracts down. 
Just below the ultra-high-end, between $5 million and $10 million, we’ve had 20 sales so far this year, but the fly in the ointment is that we only had 3 sales in April this year when our sales should be ramping up. Now, the good news, at least from my viewpoint, is that all 3 of those transactions, which were at $8.9, $6.3 and $5.8 million, were done by me, Russ and Dena Zarra and our Greenwich Streets Team. Dena’s sale at 4 Ford Lane was listed at $5.3 million and went to contract in 9 days for 110% over list. It was like new and close to the Sound. We’ve also had two off-market sales over $5 million this year. New, and like new houses, at just about any price point are go quickly, if properly priced. 
So, what’s the high-end market going to do; up, down or sideways? In 2020 our high-end sales took a big jump up, along with the rest of the market. The next year in 2021,  we had an all-time record for single family home sales at all prices and sales over $5 million set their own all-time record with 135 sales. Only once before had we had triple digit high-end sales and that was way back in 2007 at the height of the bubble where we just made 100 sales. 

In 2022, we fell one just one sale short of 100 sales with 99 sales over $5 million. Last year, in 2023, was our fourth highest number of sales over $5 million with 96 total high-end sales. 
So far in 2024, our average price per square foot for high-end house has been hanging in there at $1,025/sf compared to last year’s all-time high of $1,084/sf. Our sales price to original list price also is looking good at 94.7% down less than 1% from last year’s 95.5%. Our days on market for high-end houses are close to six months at 176 days, but back in 2019, it was 405 days on market. 
Still with sales down, and inventory up, there are some dark clouds on the horizon. Then again, most of our high-end sales have moved to the third and fourth quarters as Wall Streeters aren’t getting their big bonuses in one lump sum at the beginning of the year. To worry, or not worry, is not so much the question now, however, If contracts stay down in the July to September time frame, then we’ve got something to worry about.
Our biggest worry continues to be our very low inventory where we have only 22% of the inventory that we had on the market in 2019. Our inventory is down even from record lows last year. The nice thing is while inventory is still down from last year, it is up significantly from last month, when we closed the month with only 118 listings. We are now up to 146 listings. 
More listings recently have resulted in more contracts. Our inventory is down 13% from last year, while our contracts are only down 9% from last year and contracts are up strongly over the last few weeks. If our inventory continues its rapid rise, then we just might finally see more contracts than we saw in the same week in prior years. That would be good signal, that we are headed back to normal, but while close, we haven’t seen it yet. 
Stay tuned the market just might be changing for the better in most price ranges … 
Mark Pruner is a principal in  the Greenwich Streets Team, along with Russ Pruner, Dena Zara, Tim Agro and our newest member, Felipe Dutra. He can be reached at Compass Connecticut at [email protected] or 203-817-2871

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